Top things to do

Top Choice Cave in Yamaguchi Prefecture

Akiyoshi-dō

Within the Akiyoshi-dai Quasi-National Park, Akiyoshi-dō is the largest limestone cave in Japan. It extends about 10km, at some points 100m wide (though public access is limited to a 1km section), and a river flows …
Top Choice Historic Building in Hagi

Kikuya Residence

The Kikuya family were merchants rather than samurai. As official merchants to the daimyō, their wealth and connections allowed them to build a house well above their station. This house dates from 1604 and has a fi…
Top Choice Seafood in Shimonoseki

Yabure-Kabure

There's only one thing on the menu in this boisterous spot: pick from a range of fugu sets, such as the dinner Ebisu course, which features the cute little puffer in raw, seared, fried and drowned-in-sake incarnatio…
Top Choice Park in Yamaguchi

Kōzan-kōen

North of the town centre is Kōzan Park, where the five-storey pagoda of Rurikō-ji (瑠璃光寺), a National Treasure dating from 1404, is picturesquely situated beside a small lake. A small on-site museum displays miniatur…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Hagi

Tōkō-ji

East of the river, near Shōin-jinja, stands pretty Zen Tōkō-ji, built in 1691 and home to the tombs of five Mōri lords. The stone walkways on the hillside behind the temple are flanked by almost 500 stone lanterns, …
Top Choice Market in Shimonoseki

Karato Ichiba

A highlight of a trip to Shimonoseki is an early-morning visit to the Karato fish market. It's a great opportunity to try sashimi for breakfast or lunch and the fish doesn't get any fresher – a fair bit of it will s…
Top Choice Bridge in Iwakuni

Kintai-kyō

Iwakuni's chief claim to fame is this graceful bridge, built in 1673 during the rule of feudal lord Kikkawa Hiroyoshi. It has been restored several times since then, but its high arches remain an impressive sight ov…
Top Choice Cafe in Yamaguchi

Sabō Kō

A cosy atmosphere prevails in this low-ceilinged little eatery, where customers perch on wooden stools sipping coffee. The speciality on the Japanese-only menu is the generous, rustic omuraisu (omelette filled with …
Top Choice Cafe in Hagi

Hotoritei

A tranquil rest stop near the Jōkamachi area, Hotoritei is within a large house surrounded by gardens. It mainly serves coffees, teas and cakes – try the fluffy, cream-filled matcha (green-tea) roll. There are a few…
Top Choice Italian in Yamaguchi

Mottimo Pasta Yuda Onsen

A variety of Japanese twists on Italian faves including eight kinds of delicious hot, buttery, flavoured bread sticks (think honey, basil and custard cream!), a small selection of pizzas and a range of delicious pas…